Volume III, Number 10. 31 May 2021.

Trust the government of President Rodrigo Duterte to show the world new depths of brutality and lawlessness. The past three weeks saw a tragic barrage of murders, abductions and illegal detention all perpetrated by uniformed armed security agents of the Duterte regime.

Elements of the Southern Luzon Command under Gen. Antonio Parlade abducted a 4-year old boy on 12 May, to coerce his political detainee mother to ‘surrender’ to government demands. On 21 May, combined police and military units murdered Rommel Riza, Christopher Boton and Cristina Estocado in their sleep. The victims’ families are being denied access to their deceased loved ones. A fourth victim, Kemuel Ian Cometa, is still missing. House searches and arrests are wantonly conducted, based on planted evidence of firearms, explosives and ‘subversive documents’.

As we write this, we received the tragic news that senior NDFP peace consultants Reynaldo Bocala and Fr. Rustico Tan have been murdered in their homes in Panay Island and Camotes Island, respectively, by police and military agents. Bocala, 75 years old, and Fr. Tan, 80, were both unarmed when they were killed.

The perpetrators and their masterminds crow about their ‘achievements’ and ‘victories’. National Security Adviser Gen. Hermogenes Esperon and Gen. Parlade boast of ‘foiling terrorism’ and promoting ‘freedom and democracy’ through their kidnappings, illegal detention and murders.

They routinely claim that victims ‘fought back’, resulting in a ‘gunfight’. They claim that the kidnapped and detained children are being ‘protected’ against parents whom they are hunting down as ‘communist terrorists’ or they are already holding as political prisoners!

These latest atrocities, however, only serve to amplify the outrage of the Filipino people against the murderous Duterte regime. Generals Esperon, Parlade and their ilk, with all the ‘achievements’ of state terrorism, are succeeding only in driving greater numbers into the ranks of the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

No amount of fake news will conceal these heinous crimes against the Filipino people and the international community. The brutal attempts to crush all opposition and resistance will be in vain and will be their own undoing.